“Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
To all parishioners, pilgrims, friends, benefactors, and to all men of goodwill a
Blessed and Happy Easter!
Parish priest and the Franciscans
Uskrsna cestitka 2013 - fra Marinko Sakota
Holy Thursday, March 28, 2013 – On this day when Church remembers institution of Holy Eucharist and Priesthood, it is allowed only to celebrate Holy Mass of consecration of the oil and Holy Mass of Lord’s Supper. Holy Mass of consecration of the oil can be celebrated only by bishop in his cathedral. Therefore, on that day before noon, in Medjugorje there are no confessions and no Holy Masses celebrated. Prayer of the Rosary begins at 5 p.m. and solemn Holy Mass of Lord’s Supper at 6 p.m. After Holy Mass there will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and all faithful will have opportunity for silent prayer until Midnight.
Holy Week is going to start on Palm Sunday and that is the peak of celebration for Easter. The liturgy of Palm Sunday, on March 24, will begin on the ruins of the old parish church at 10.30 a.m. After that, the procession will start towards the parish church of St. James where Holy Mass of Passion of the Lord is going to be celebrated. Holy Masses will be celebrated at 7, 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The blessing of the olive trees’ branches will take place at every Holy Mass. Prayer of Rosary on Apparition Hill will be at 2 p.m.
The visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had daily apparitions from June 24th 1981 to December 25th 1982. During the last daily apparition, Our Lady gave her the 10th secret, and told her that she would appear to her once a year, on the 18th of March. It has been this way through the years. Several thousand pilgrims gathered in prayer of the Rosary.. The apparition lasted from 13:52 to 13:58.
Dear children! I call you to, with complete trust and joy, bless the name of the Lord and, day by day, to give Him thanks from the heart for His great love. My Son, through that love which He showed by the Cross, gave you the possibility to be forgiven for everything; so that you do not have to be ashamed or to hide, and out of fear not to open the door of your heart to my Son. To the contrary, my children, reconcile with the Heavenly Father so that you may be able to come to love yourselves as my Son loves you. When you come to love yourselves, you will also love others; in them you will see my Son and recognize the greatness of His love. Live in faith! Through me, my Son is preparing you for the works which He desires to do through you – works through which He desires to be glorified. Give Him thanks. Especially thank Him for the shepherds - for your intercessors in the reconcilliation with the Heavenly Father. I am thanking you, my children. Thank you.
On Saturday, March 16th, we will celebrate 79 years since Cross on Cross Mountain was built and blessed during the solemn Holy Mass. It took parishioners only 52 days to build the cross, after their parish priest Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, had given them that proposal on January 21, 1934, all because the whole world was celebrating Jubilee Year of our Salvation.
The construction plan was made by engineer Simun Boras from Mostar and construction was supervised by Ante Dugandzic Redzo from Medjugorje. Next year, on April 12, they have organised procession of penance to the top of Cross Mountain and Holy Mass was celebrated at the top. In September 1935, they have celebrated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, after the decree of local Bishop at that time, Fr. Alojzije Misic. Cross Mountain has become one of the most visited pilgrims’ destinations in Medjugorje, and parishioners and pilgrims gather every Friday for prayer of the Way of the Cross on this mountain.
New Holy Father is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, a 76 year old Jesuit, who has been elected to be the 265th Successor of Saint Peter in the conclave. He has taken the name Francis. This is the first time in the history of the Church that one Roman bishop has taken that name, the first time that one Jesuit was elected as Holy Father and the first time that Holy Father comes from Latin America.
He was born on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires, and comes from a family with five children, his father being and Italian immigrant. He gained degree in chemical technology, and later joined Novice of Jesuit order on March 11, 1958. He gained title in Arts in Chile, and in 1963, after he returned to Buenos Aires, he received degree in Philosophy at the Faculty of Arts “San Jose” in San Miguel. He taught literature and psychology for the next two years at the Faculty “Immacolata” in Santa Fe, and until 1966, he taught same courses at the Faculty “Salvatore” in Buenos Aires. He was ordained for the Jesuits on 13 December 1969 during his theological studies at the Theological Faculty of San Miguel.
Among participants of the 20th International Meeting of organisers of pilgrimages, leaders of peace centres, prayer and charity groups leaders related to Medjugorje that was held from March 3 to March 7, we are emphasising participation of Hubert Lepherr who has started Peace Walk in 1992, along with his 300 friends from all over the world. “I have received many blessings from Heaven through Medjugorje, I am trying to change my life every day even though that is really hard. Ever since 1987, I have been coming to Medjugorje and I’ve been bringing groups from South German, from Stuttgart and Munich, each year 800 to 1000 pilgrims.”He said how he was coming to these seminars from the very beginning in 1991 when these encounters were held in Tucepi. (photos)
On Sunday, March 3, the 20th International Meeting for organisers of pilgrimages, leaders of peace centres and Medjugorje prayer and charity groups began. There are participants from 17 countries: Italy, England, the United States, Ireland, Canada, Lebanon, Poland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The meeting is held with theme related to the Year of Faith: “Increase our faith”. Participants, apart from lectures and sharing of experiences with lecturers, are also participating in the evening prayer programme in parish church in Medjugorje. (photos)
The 20th International Meeting for Organisers of Pilgrimages, Leaders of Peace Centres and Međugorje Prayer and Charity Groups will be held in Medjugorje from the 3rd to the 7th of March 2013. The theme of the gathering is:
“Increase our faith” (Luke 17, 5)
Number of Holy Communions: 45 500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 1212 (43 per day)
“Joy of communion” is a title of pilgrimage that was held in Medjugorje from February 22 to February 25. Among many pilgrims we were able to meet Ms. Bernardova from Czech Republic who told us that she was receiving invitations from various people for the last year and a half to come to Medjugorje. “Finally, I decided to come now. My daughter is sick and she needs to have serious surgery and that was my main intention while coming here. I have not seen that many things in Medjugorje, but I feel such love at this place.”
Around 4000 pilgrims will stay in Medjugorje from February 22 to 25, 2013. These are the pilgrims that will stay in Medjugorje for free - parishioners will provide accommodation and full board service for each one of them. This is one of the many actions that parishioners undertook in association with the Parish Office as a part of the new evangelisation and their own response to Holy Father’s invitation. This was the opportunity for pilgrims from East European countries such as: Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Albania, Serbia, Monte Negro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to come to Medjugorje for pilgrimage. All those pilgrims due to their low incomes and numerous families were never able to come to this place in the past. Medjugorje parishioners have once again shown that they have great hearts and have confirmed once again why Our Lady had chosen this parish in the special way.
On Monday, February 18, the meeting of Definitories of Franciscan Provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia began in Medjugorje. This is the second meeting organised by the Conference of Provincials of the Franciscan Order, according to the decisions made with General Minister and his Definitory held in Split in 2011. This meeting will last until Wednesday, February 20, 2013. Fr. Ivan Sesar is the host as well as the President of the Conference. Besides the working part of this meeting, the participants will be able to take part in the liturgical life of this place of prayer.
68th Anniversary of Martyrdom of Herzegovinian Franciscans was commemorated in Siroki Brijeg from February 4 to February 7, 2013. At the same time it was opportunity for the 3rd Days of Franciscan Martyrs to be held. February 7 was commemorated for the first time as the “Day of Remembering Franciscan Martyrs and People.” On Sunday, February 10, we are commemorating Feast of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac and parish of Medjugorje will be remembering murdered Franciscans from Medjugorje parish. Holy Mass is going to be celebrated at 6 p.m. for all murdered Franciscans and victims of the First and Second World War, as well as victims from the recent Homeland war from Medjugorje parish. After Holy Mass there will be a lecture in the Hall of the Bl. John Paul II, and lecturers are Dr. Fr. Robert Jolic and Fr. Miljenko Mica Stojic. Themes of the lecture are going to be about history of those murdered in the parish of Medjugorje as well as about procedure of martyrdom that was initiated.
On Sunday, February 3, 2013, around 100 young members of the Franciscan Youth from Medjugorje gave their promises and vows to the Franciscan Youth, while some new members were accepted. This ceremony was held as a part of the evening Holy Mass that was celebrated by Fr. Josip Vlasic, the regional spiritual assistant, with 11 other priests concelebrating in the church of St. James. Fr. Slaven Brekalo conducted this ceremony, while Franciscan Youth from Humac sang and made this celebration even more beautiful and solemn. At the end of the Holy Mass, Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest from Medjugorje, gave a little speech and congratulated to these young members. The Franciscan Youth has been active in Medjugorje since 1995. They contribute to the fruitful spiritual atmosphere in this parish with many activities as well as with their prayer and music.